What a week! So much has happened! Let’s work through it with Jared Gillins as we understand our little place as Latter-day Saints in a complicated world.
Elder David A. Bendar just goes all-in on the battle for religious freedom, effectively arguing that the government overstepped its bounds as religious meetings have been curtailed as a result of COVID-19. However, the Church aggressively curtailed its own meetings before the government forced it to do so. And is Elder Bednar arguing that religious groups, in particular were targeted? All this does it solidify the anti-government mentality of so many Church members.
Brigham Young University has founds itself part of the discussion on America’s reckoning with racism. The Abraham Smoot building, the university’s administration building, was defaced due to Smoot having once been a slave owner. Just in front of that building, a statue of Brigham Young was tagged on with the word “racist” due to the fact that Brigham Young was a racist, you see.
But are violence and destruction of property the answer? Too often we invalidate the concerns of those who commit violent acts in the name of protest and fail to remember that we can be against senseless destruction while also being open to a discussion about the deeper issue. We can do both! We can walk and chew gum!
Good things are happening at BYU, though. The university established a committee to evaluate race and inequality, and it is composed largely of people of color! Great job, BYU!
Other universities have responded to racism. Southern Virginia University, a private university that holds LDS values but is not affiliated with the Church, renamed one of its buildings after its namesake was found to hold white supremacist views.
Since leaders of the Church will not apologize for racism in the past, some Church members are taking it upon themselves to do so for the Church, but it’s kinda goofy.
Hey, so Elder Holland was admitted to the hospital last week, but now he’s out! He’s OK! But this speaks to a larger issue: why isn’t the Church more transparent about leadership’s health?
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the open house and rededication of the Washington DC temple have been postponed indefinitely.
Also, more temples have reopened, including those in Mexico!
A temple in Brazil has been built largely inside some sort of cocoon.
Do Mormons make the Church itself into an idol?